The Falcon Can Hear The Falconer
Copyright © 2008 P.O. Box 3792
by B. J. Mendelson Albany, New York, 12203
Cast Of Characters
A woman in her late 20' s.
Marsha's imaginary friend.
A paramedic in his early 20' s.
Steve's partner, also in his 20's
A car, anywhere,
Winter, any time
Scene 1 : In Medias Res
SETTING: Inside of a broken VW Bug. Marshall
is sitting next to Marsha in the
passenger seat. Both should appear to
be driving and navigating traffic in
opposite directions as they talk.
AT RISE: We find Marsha in mid-conversation with
I can hear the student's voices.
(Pretends to be Marsha making a call. Quite loud.)
Hello? Steven King? I'm stuck in traffic, thought I would give you a
call. Marsha Cohen here. Boy do I have a story for you. This time?
The horror comes from people! Children ! (Beat) What? No. No clowns.
No spiders either. (Pause) No Steven, this story doesn't involve
spider clowns in any way. What? Hello? (Pause) Huh . . . maybe Koontz
might be interested . . .
I do hear voices
You're the obvious kind of crazy Marsha, of course you hear voices
You're talking to yourself right now.
Jealous Marshall? Why can't I have more than one imaginary friend?
Why not an imaginary class that talks to me when I try to sleep?
MARSHALL (Annoyed at this revelation)
Fine. Fine. What do they say, Charles Xavier?
There are no unique voices. I can hear you. I can't hear them. They
sounds like an insect hive. Individual voices drown amidst the
buzzing. The collective speaks but it has nothing to say.
We work with children Marsha. Not bees. Children hit. Bees sting.
Very different. Cars honk. Look at that idiot over there, honking
away like it means something to the guy in front of him. That is
drowning amidst noise--
Maybe my sanity is slipping too. The students saw me talking to you
yesterday. They saw me talking to a locker. I can't do this for much
longer. I am so bored with my life. My soul drowned and I'm left
going through the motions. I don't want this.
We do what we have to. Not what we want to.
I've done what I have to since I was sixteen. When will I get to do
what I want?
Never? Forget you, Marshall. (Pause) Some imaginary friend
You're supposed to encourage me!
You have the same life anyone in the traffic around us has. You don't
get a turn. Shelve the entitlement. We work, we owe, we die.
You left out children. We breed too. Some of us want to breed.
I'm a man. That's a consequence we don't think about.
What a disappointment.
Life: A constant string of disappointments punctuated by drips of
What's wrong with you? You're not usually this depressing in the
morning. That usually happens after first period.
You're out of Xanax. We can only be happy when you're popping them,
Xanax or not, I'm not depressed enough to agree with you.
Really? Think about it. You're told at age six you can be anything.
You're told at 15 that you need a job, so you can pay for being
anything you want. You're told at 17 to plan for college and get a
degree in anything you want, unless you have overbearing parents who
picked your major and threatened to cut you off if you don't follow
their wishes .
You're told at 23 that you can't be anything you want, at the moment,
because you have to pay off your student loans. You can't get a job.
There are no jobs in the field you want, at least not in the United
States. (Pause) It's too expensive to move to Bangalore and you don't
have a chance there. You have credit card debt. You choke on bills
until you panic and take a "temporary" job.
Marshall. Let's just focus on the road. People are driving like human
hemorrhoids. We can talk about this --
MARSHALL (Ignoring her)
Later? Like your dreams? The dream gets deferred. Constantly. After
not finding a job you go to graduate school. You have no idea what
you're doing, but maybe a Master's, or God forbid, a Ph. D. will help
you get that job you've always wanted. At 26, you leave with more
debt, a spouse, and maybe, a baby. Then you find out you're over
qualified and no one wants you because they can't afford to hire you.
Now you have to pay off school, support your spouse, and prepare for
your kid. Where's your dream now? (Pause.)
You're thirty, you have debt, working a job you hate, and it's going
to get worse. You'll get older, less attractive, America will forget
about you, we only like pretty young people. Your temporary-turned-
permanent job will fire you without thought, and then what? You'll
wake up one day in a nursing home. Where's the life you dreamed
about? Bed pans, IV, and General Hospital? My God, you reached for
the stars . . .
I don't think about the children you teach or the children you want
to bear. Children are our future? It's like George Carlin says, "Fuck
the children . "
I ... I don't even remember what I wanted to be.
Where ' d the dream go?
I lost track of it.
Hah. Don't we all? Look at us. You and your imaginary friend, off to
another miserable day teaching the voiceless. You spend hours
teaching something no one will ever use again. Photosynthesis? Fuck
photosynthesis . (Pause)
You come home, you're exhausted. In those five hours between work and
sleep, you take care of your spouse. On the weekend, you go to the
mall and look at things you can't afford. You can't think of anything
else to do, and you don't do anything productive because that would
be work and work is for the week day. (Pause) How's that dream
I 'm pregnant .
You're wrong. I've always wanted to have a baby. Even with Harry
dead, I still want to have his baby. I did these things by choice,
not because someone told me to. It might not have worked how I
imagined ... I don't even remember what I imagined ... but I'm happy,
I'm happy in ways you can never be. Maybe it's time I up the
medication. I don't need my subconscious depressing me or making
me . . .
(The car veers off the road. Both actors turn the wheel in opposite
directions . )
Brakes ! Gas !
(The car crashes. The lights fade.)
Did I let go of the wheel or did it let go of me?
(The lights return with Steve and Rob emerging on stage. Marshall is
missing. Marsha is lying down on the floor.)
Whoa. I don't know why they bothered calling us.
They're better off, we're wasting time here. We could actually be
saving someone. This --
Is out of our hands. Let's go.
Let's go? What do you mean let's go?
ROB (Overlapping Martha)
Let's go? We still have to take her to the hospital
Hey, I have to take her to the hospital, but I don ' t want to. She's
just going to take a spot from someone who has chance.
What the hell? A chance? There's always a chance. That's what life is
A chance. We're wasting time, if we take her to the hospital now, she
still might have a shot. There's still a pulse.
Pulse or not, in another minute or two, she'll be dead. Until then we
down some more beers in the truck.
There's still a pulse. Let's give her another chance. Even if it's a
slim one ... it's still the best she has ...
We're wasting valuable drinking time, Rob.
Just once. Just once, Steve. I would like to save someone. Anyone.
Why not her? --
—"Why not", he says. I can smell his breath from here,
I haven't had a chance to notice.
There's still a few moments left. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky.
I'm due for a chance. I'm due, aren't I?
You don't seem concerned. If I go ...
I know. But ... I'm ready to go. I'm going to suggest we get buried
without the box. Face up. So we can watch the curtain close on this
disappointing, miserable . . .
-- If this is my last moments on earth, I rather cheer myself on in
an ambulance than listen to you. If I get a second chance, you're not
welcome to it. Goodbye Marshall. (Marsha storms off stage) .
(End Of Scene)